Russian Metal Artworks

Desktop bell “Tsar Bell”

    Desktop bell “Tsar Bell”

    Russian Empire

    Second half of the 19th century

    Bronze; casting, chasing, gilding

    Height - 14.8 cm, diameter - 10.1 cm


    Desktop hand bell from gilded bronze in the shape of tulip with high crown is made in the form of reduced copy of the “Tsar Bell”. Its relief decoration repeats the original decor. The belt (i.e. the upper part) is decorated with several rows of baroque ornaments.

    The images of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God and John the Baptist, the Apostle Peter and St. Anna in cartouches connected by ornamental stripes are on the waist. The full-length figures of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and Empress Anna Ivanovna in coronation dresses are below, on the opposite sides. Two cartouches with the pattern imitating inscription are between the figures; the figures of cherubs are around cartouches. Two rows of stylized foliage ornament with narrow relief strip between them are along the bell-bottom (the so-called sound ring). The broken piece is emphasized with deepened line to the left Alexei Mikhailovich figure. The upper part of the crown is in the form of an orb with cross.

    The “Tsar Bell” is a monument of Russian foundry art of the 18th century. It was cast by decree of Empress Anna Ioannovna in 1733-1735 by hereditary Moscow moulders, bell-makers Ivan Motorin and his son Mikhail. Until now, it is the largest bell in the world. Its weight is almost 202 tons, height is 6.14 meters and diameter is 6.6 meters.